Devin McCourty, Bill Belichick break down game-losing play against Cowboys

FOXBORO — In the big picture, Matt Judon was right.

“Our offense went out there and scored. … They gave us the lead,” he declared after the Patriots’ 35-29 overtime loss to the Cowboys. “We gotta do our job.”

After staking two leads in the final minutes of regulation, the Pats defense couldn’t deliver a win, allowing go-ahead and game-tying drives. They even won the coin toss to start overtime. But instead of celebrating their first home win and rising to 3-3, Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott knocked the Patriots out with a 35-yard touchdown strike to CeeDee Lamb.

Cruelly enough, on that play, the defense actually did its job. According to veteran safety and captain Devin McCourty, the Pats covered Prescott’s initial reads and forced him

“We were in a tough call, I think, for the route they ran. They dialed up a good play for what we tried to do,” McCourty said. “(It was) kind of situational football. What they like to do, we tried to take it away, and Dak was able to hold it for another second. We kind of took the first two reads, the two tight ends to the flat on our left side . But extended play, he got back to the middle, and that’s where we were kind of light at. And that was it.”

Pats coach Bill Belichick saw the play similarly.

“We covered a flat receiver and then he just on the over route with another extended play,” he said post-game. “Obviously didn’t play it well enough, didn’t coach it well enough.

The closest Patriot to Lamb was cornerback Jalen Mills, who could only shove him after he’d crossed the goal line and clinched the win. Mills’ effort, a show of frustration, perfectly captured the defense’s night to date: too little, too late.

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